Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei
Hassan: TN Suresh Kumar, a senior ISRO scientist has become the first Indian to visit the stratosphere, the second layer of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Kumar, who is working with ISRO’s Master Control Facility in Hassan, on August 15, 2014 travelled to an altitude of 17,100 metres in a MIG-29 from Sokol Airbase near Nizhny Novgorod in Russia.
To achieve this feat, he paid a hefty fee of around Rs 15 lakh.
Reaching the stratosphere in 48 minutes, the aircraft reached to a maximum speed of 1850 km per hour during the travel.
Kumar also becomes the 259th person of the world to take the flight ever since the Country of Tourism Ltd., an agency conducting space travel in Russia, started the journey called ‘Edge of Space’ six years ago.
Kumar was also one of the four people selected by ISRO to travel to space in 1985. Unfortunately, that didn't happen as the flight had to be cancelled following the explosion of space shuttle ‘Challenger’, in February 1986.